HARLINGEN — City leaders said the opening of the new Sam’s Club warehouse store is exciting for the community.
“It’s great. It’s going to help the retail sector,” City Manager Carlos Yerena said at Wednesday’s ground-breaking ceremony. “The community is already excited about having a Sam’s here. It’s going to help spur development.”
Numerous city leaders, including city commissioners, representatives of the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation, and members of the Chamber of Commerce attended the ceremony.
Construction of the new 136,000-square foot warehouse store, located within sight of Bass Pro Shops at the northwest corner of the U.S. 77 and U.S. 83 interchange, will begin within the next 30 to 40 days, Sam’s Club market manager Steve Chadwick said. The project should be completed in about a year.
Chadwick said Sam’s Club had been considering a new store in Harlingen for quite some time.
“If you look at it, we have two in McAllen and one in Brownsville,” he said. “We’ve been looking at the market base, and it’s a perfect location to put a club.”
The Harlingen EDC began planning development the area at the Expressway 77/83 interchange about five years ago, EDC board president Rick Ledesma said.
“We needed to develop this as a regional destination for shoppers,” he said. “This does a lot to bring people to Harlingen, to spend money here. It also attracts more development.”
He said the city’s investment in Bass Pro Shops is what attracted Sam’s Club.
“That was our strategy, and it’s working,” he said. “It’s having a domino effect.”
The store will create between 175 and 200 jobs, officials have said. Harlingen has invested about $5 million to build roads to the store and the surrounding industrial park.